Right from the moment Adriano Foglia netted the first goal of the tournament to the last penalty of the shootout which was saved by Luis Amado, the Premier Futsal League has been exciting and enjoyable. The were many moments that will remain in our memory for years to come and here are some of the best of these from the tournament:
#1 Ronaldinho’s Five
There is no doubt that Ronaldinho’s quintuple was the best moment of the tournament. The magician from Brazil is a football player loved by many around the world, even his rivals. He plays football with a smile on his face and brings happiness to everyone who watches him play.
His first game for Goa was not very impressive but he quickly picked up and entertained the crowd in Chennai. He opened his account with his first goal when he left the keeper on the floor and comfortably slotted into an open net. But his best goal was number four where he calmly lobbed the ball over the last defender to put the ball into an open net. His performance earned him the man of the match award.
However, that was the last of him as he had to leave for Brazil to fulfill his duties as the ambassador for the Paralympic games in Rio. Legendary Brazilian defender Cafu replaced him in the Goa squad.
#2 Last minute drama
When Kochi lost 6-4 to Mumbai, they handed Chennai 5s a chance to decide their fate in the tournament. Chennai started out well scoring two goals and were leading 2-0 by the end of the third quarter. The Chennai franchise were only 10 minutes away from a place in the semi-final but, as they always have done in the tournament, they conceded two goals in the dying stages.
With three minutes left, Kochi were level 2-2 and were now on their way to the semi-final. That's when marquee star Falcao came in and scored a screamer to give Chennai the lead. They had to defend their lead for only two more minutes.
With regulation time over and a minute added on, Kochi’s Chaguinha blasted the ball towards the goal. His shot took a deflection from a Chennai defender and went into the goal between Espindola’s legs sending all Kochi fans into raptures. Kochi qualified for the semi-final in literally the last minute of the group stage. Dramatic!
#3 Angellot's equalizer in the final
The Colombian was one of Mumbai’s finest players this tournament netting 9 goals in 6 games. Caro Angellot helped his side reach the final of the tournament courtesy of a brilliant hat-trick in the semi-final against Kolkata 5s.
In the final, Mumbai started the game without their man of the match from the previous game, Angellot. After Moraes put them ahead, they decided to bring Angellot on for Ryan Giggs. His introduction proved to be a game changer.
The Colombian troubled the Kochi defense with brilliant runs down the wing throughout the game and had plenty of shots on target that troubled Casalone. However, Mumbai only found the back of the net in the 39th-minute after 26 attempted shots on goal when Angellot pulled off a sombrero and slotted the ball into the Kochi net. Mumbai went on to beat Kochi to lift the inaugral edition of the Premier Futsal League.
#4 Michael Silva's goal and celebration
When Mr. Britto and Luis Figo announced their plans for the tournament, they stressed on the fact that Indian players will be given a chance to shine and will team up with their heroes in the tournament. The Indian stars did not disappoint.
Every team had at least one player who impressed the critics with his display throughout the tournament. However, there was one who not only impressed the crowd with his football skills but also with his celebration.
Michael Silva of Kochi 5s joined Ronaldinho’s samba party against Bengaluru when he scored a goal – Goa’s 5th goal of the night. To celebrate his goal, Silva pulled off an acrobatic cartwheel in front of the crowd – a memorable moment.
#5 Michel Salgado’s goal against Mumbai
When Kochi faced Mumbai in the second match day of the tournament, they were clearly the better team on the pitch. The men in purple beat the men in blue by a comfortable margin of 4-1.
With 3 minutes left in the game and two goals to chase for Mumbai, they were playing all their men in the attack. Kochi’s defense led by Salgado was however too good for Mumbai to break down.
Salgado quickly saw their intention to pass the ball into their deep player and tackled the Mumbai player. He found himself one on one with the goalkeeper who was well out of his area. Salgado sprinted like a cheetah and beat the keeper, leaving him on his backside and slotted the ball into an open net to seal the victory.